For the EVOLution of Business

Capitalism has created massive gains in prosperity and yet also led to such inequality that a majority of millennials don’t believe it’s the best way to organize our economy. Yet some companies embrace a more "conscious" capitalism, with a purpose beyond profit and a balancing of the needs of all stakeholders rather than prioritizing stockholders...and they end up more successful in the long run! Join the EVOLution of Business podcast to learn from business leaders at the forefront of Conscious Capitalism, creating more inclusive prosperity for society while also leading to more success for their companies as well.

Our current version of capitalism is broken. It’s time For The EVOLution of Business.

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    "Four Years From New Owner to Business Person of the Year" with Abby Reinhard of GP Flooring Solutions

    In 2014, Abby Reinhard bought GP Flooring Solutions despite not having a background in the industry. Just four years later, she was named the 2018 Business Person of the Year by Rochester's Small Business Council. While the company has experienced considerable growth, Abby says that the growth was not an explicit goal, but rather an outcome of a focus on people and culture. Tune in to hear about how Abby codified the values and culture at GP Flooring Solutions, how she continues to reinforce the culture through storytelling and hiring practices, how she believes business should recognize its interconnection with all stakeholders and her personal evolution as a Conscious Leader.

    GP Flooring Solutions is a commercial flooring company headquartered in the Greater Rochester area. Since Abby purchased the company four years ago, she has enjoyed growing a team from 9 to 32 employees (and growing!). Her academic background is in leadership and management, with degrees from the University of Michigan and Harvard University, and her prior career background in marketing communications, fundraising and sales.

    A Rochester-area native, Abby returned to her hometown after living in Ann Arbor, Boston, and New York City. Always on the go with three young children, she also serves on the boards of The Hochstein School of Music and Dance and Blackfriars Theatre. Abby was named one of the Forty Under 40 by Rochester Business Journal in 2016; she was recognized in 2017 by Floor Focus Magazine as one of the top ten leaders in her industry under age 40; and was named the Small Business Council of Rochester's 2018 Business Person of the Year.

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    Incubating Conscious Culture in Tech with Justin Copie of Innovative Solutions

    As CEO of Innovative Solutions, Justin Copie is leading the bold move forward: instilling growth in employees and inspiring change well beyond the four walls of Innovative. Yet the 65 people working at Innovative don’t work for him. He works for them.

    As CEO and leader, Justin provides safety and direction: safety in voicing opinions, trying new things, and failing, and direction in where to go on the path to success. He serves others in cultivating a culture where people can come to work every day feeling safe and free to do what they love to do, and in turn help Innovative reach its vision.

    Tune in to this episode of the EVOLution of Business podcast to hear about how Justin works to create a culture of "people first, then technology," what he believes are his two most important responsibilities as CEO, why he shares their company culture survey on their website for all to see and the crazy idea he had to ask his employees to interview elsewhere.

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    The Most Impactful Trust Building Behaviors with "The Trust Ambassador" Bob Whipple

    What is the ROI of trust? How can you build more trust in your organization?

    In addition to earning the title of "The Trust Ambassador," Bob Whipple has been recognized with a "Top Thought Leader in Trust" Lifetime Achievement Award by Trust Across America. He speaks internationally on leadership and specifically the development of trust. He is author of four books and over 100 videos on trust and leadership.

    In addition to being CEO of LeaderGrow Incorporated, Bob is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Rochester Area Business Ethics Foundation (RABEF). He is also a Charter Member of Conscious Capitalism ROC and serves on the executive committee.

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    How The Cooperative Economics of Ujamaa Can Create Inclusive Prosperity with Jessica Lewis of Ujamaa Rising

    Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration honoring African identity, heritage and culture. Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa celebrates a different value of African culture that helps to build and reinforce community. During last year's Kwanzaa celebrations in Rochester, Jessica Lewis moderated a panel during the celebration of Ujamaa, which means "Cooperative Economics." Much of the panel discussion centered on themes of encouraging entrepreneurship in the black community, citing research that black-owned businesses account for just 7% of small businesses (despite making up 13% of the population) and the fact that a dollar stays in the black community for just six hours. Jessica also debuted her show "Ujamaa Rising," which profiles black-owned businesses in Rochester, many of which have a distinct ethos of community engagement, Ujamaa and Conscious Capitalism.

    Jessica is the Principal Publicist & Owner of LáLew Public Relations and the ROC the Future Communications Specialist at The Children’s Agenda. She is a 2018 ATHENA Award finalist and a Woman to Watch for the Democrat & Chronicle Newspaper. Jessica is a successful entrepreneur, owning the fastest growing, Black-owned public relations firm in Rochester, New York.

    LáLew Public Relations is a full service PR firm specializing in media relations, marketing, branding, web management, social media and community engagement. LáLew serves a variety of clients and has landed client appearances on WROC News 8, WHEC News 10, WHAM News 13, Spectrum News, Democrat and Chronicle Newspaper, City Newspaper and more. Jessica’s success was recognized by the Rochester Business Journal as a Small Business Feature of the Week. Jessica is also the host of Ujamaa Rising, a television show that features Black-owned businesses and real-life stories of entrepreneurs.

    Check out Rochester's 2018 Ujamaa Fesitivities here:

    Learn more about Black-Owned Businesses in Rochester here:

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    “Conscious Succession” through Employee Ownership at Butler/Till

    Sue Butler serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors and in a consultant role for Butler/Till, the company she founded in 1998 with partner Tracy Till. Butler/Till is a media + communications agency that delivers progressive approaches for reaching, engaging and influencing consumers across the myriad of media channels available today.

    Butler/Till is based in Rochester, with offices in NYC and SF. With over 130 employees, the firm is 100% employee-owned, a B Corp, and a certified WBE (Women Business Enterprise). Butler/Till has been recognized with many awards including Ad Age’s Best Place to Work in Marketing and Media, B Corp’s Best for the World, and has appeared on the Inc. 5000 list six times since 2010.

    Individually, Sue was honored as a finalist in Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year for the New York Region in 2015. As a passionate advocate for employee-ownership, Sue serves on The ESOP Association Board of Directors and on the Ownership Culture Committee.

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    Coffee that Changes Lives and Revitalizes a Neighborhood with John Lee of New City Cafe

    "Coffee is like life. There's a story from green bean to espresso shot and also a great story in all of us" says New City Cafe founder John Lee. "Like those beans, sometimes we need to go through a journey of incredible heat and pressure," but on the other side can be a beautiful (and delicious) result!

    In early 2016, John began to dream of an avenue to continue teen engagement and further 441 Ministries’ teen program with formal job training. This dream began to manifest itself in the form of a specialty coffee shop, where at-risk neighborhood teens could not only obtain employment and work toward becoming certified baristas, but also gaining mentoring and life skills. New City Café became a reality on June 9, 2017. As a program of 441 Ministries Beechwood, New City Café furthers the overall ministry’s mission of bringing hope, healing, and holistic development to Beechwood. This is accomplished through providing jobs to young men and women in the community, training them holistically: mind, body, soul, and spirit, and through establishing a thriving café business that provides a great gathering space for the community. As the Executive Director of New City Café, John leads this ministry and continually pursues future opportunities for neighborhood-focused economic development and job creation in Beechwood.

    Tune in to episode 10 to learn about how 441 Ministries' New City Cafe aims to revitalize the neighborhood and transform lives through social entrepreneurship and to hear John's inspiring vision of a Beechwood that is "revitalized, but not changed!"

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    Building for Sustainability by Learning from Mother Nature with Bill Browning

    Biomimicry is the design systems that are modeled on biological entities and processes. Bill Browning is one of the green building and real estate industry’s foremost thinkers and strategists. His expertise has been sought out by organizations as diverse as Fortune 500 companies, leading universities, non-profit organizations, the U.S. military, and foreign governments. He is a founding partner of Terrapin consulting, whose clients include Cacique Resort in Costa Rica, Starwood’s Element hotel brand, NRDC, PNB Malaysia, New Songdo City in Korea, InterfaceFLOR, Bank of America and the National Geographic Society.

    In addition to consulting, Bill writes and lectures widely on sustainable design and building practices. He is a co-author of Green Development: Integrating Ecology and Real Estate; A Primer on Sustainable Building; Greening the Building and the Bottom Line; and Biophilic Design; The Economics of Biophilia and Midcentury (un)Modern. He has published articles in Architectural Record, Progressive Architecture, Urban Land, and AIA’s Environmental Resource Guide. His work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Elle and Popular Science, among others, and he has been interviewed by NPR, CNN, and PBS.

    Bill was recently in Rochester to keynote the inaugural Environmental Innovation Awards and lead a symposium on sustainable design. While he was in town, he was kind enough to join us for an interview to talk about green design, biomimicry and creating a more resilient, regenerative economy.

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    Designing for (Human) Sustainability with Dave Beinetti of SWBR

    SWBR is a different kind of design firm. Their culture is defined by their integrity, technical excellence and providing quality work on time and on budget to our clients’ satisfaction. For over 49 years, they have pioneered a multidisciplinary approach, with structural engineers, interior designers and landscape architects all on the SWBR team, allowing for innovative and collaborative design projects.

    The core belief at SWBR is that architecture and place-making matter. They have been at the forefront of designing buildings sustainably, but they also understand how great buildings and spaces can inspire, influence and enhance the lives of their users and the community. In other words, the design of your building can have a major influence on your "conscious" culture.

    Recently, SWBR took the B Impact Assessment as part of the MeasureUp Finger Lakes Initiative. Not only did it give them a way to measure their sustainability practices, but also caused them to reflect on themselves and think about how they could continue to evolve their company culture.

    Dave Beinetti has been with SWBR since 1979, starting as an intern, then architect, then moving into project management, and is now Principal and Chairman of the Board. Listen to the interview with Dave on how SWBR is designing for (Human) sustainability!

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    Cultivating Future Conscious Leaders with Carrie Starr of Roberts Enactus

    The mission of the Roberts Wesleyan College "Enactus" program is to enable progress through entrepreneurial action. In recent years, The Roberts Enactus has used its resources to complete projects in Rochester, as well as India, Guatemala, and Uganda. In one project, they partnered with Rochester's Fuego Coffee to start another Fuego in Huehuetenango, Guatemala, with the purpose of giving job skills to young girls aging out of a local orphanage.

    This past year, Enactus took a look at challenges facing Rochester and shifted all of their efforts to the city that they call home. One notable program is called Elev8, which brings youth from the City of Rochester on campus for a life-altering weekend of community service projects, team-building, instructional workshops and experiencing “college life” in a meaningful way.

    Carrie Starr is the faculty advisor of the Roberts Enactus program. She also serves as an Assistant Professor of Business and the Hoselton Chair of Ethics and Free Enterprise at Roberts Wesleyan College, teaching classes on leadership, creativity and innovation. She is truly cultivating the social entrepreneurs and conscious leaders of the future!

    Carrie has been married to her best friend from college, Erv, since 1993. They have 3 children and live in a 200 year old barn. Somehow, she has also found the time to author three books, include Cheap Love, Marriage Adventures and Secret Shame. She is also a blogger at

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    Inclusive Prosperity through Worker-Owned Cooperatives at OWN Rochester

    The "EVOLution of Business" is going to require an EVOLution of business ownership structures and worker-owned cooperatives are one promising model of ownership for a future with more Inclusive Prosperity for all.

    Worker cooperatives are employee-owned companies structured on a one-member, one vote basis. Profits go directly to workers, building local wealth while creating quality jobs and meaningful change for underserved populations. More than half of worker cooperatives in the United States today were designed to improve low-wage jobs and build wealth in communities most directly affected by inequality, helping workers build skills, earning potential, household income and assets.

    Based on the Evergreen Cooperatives of Cleveland, which has become an innovation model for creating more sustainable regional economies, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren worked with the Democracy Collaborative to create a "Market Driven Community Cooperative" within the Mayor's Office of Innovation. Now an independent, community-led nonprofit, it was rebranded as OWN Rochester and is led by Kate Washington.

    Kate transitioned to this role after serving a key role in the development of the organization in her tenure as Deputy Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development for the City of Rochester. Prior to her work in government, she enjoyed a twenty-year career in management consulting where she worked with the highest levels of government leadership in the Caribbean and South America to reduce the cost of energy and build sustainable energy resources. Kate is a Fulbright Scholar and earned her M.B.A. from the Simon School of Business in 2004. Her civic engagement includes leadership in women’s and minority issues, the arts and business.

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    Creating Sustainable Solutions to Poverty with Humans for Education

    Imagine creating solutions to poverty that don't need continuous funding. What if, instead, small businesses could be created that could sustainably fund local schools and cover basic needs like clean water and hygiene?

    At 10-years-old, Daphne Pariser made a life-altering decision, that she was going to not only commit her life to help others but do so in a way that allowed it to be sustainable. She wanted to revolutionize sustainability to help people create their own solutions to poverty.

    Everything that is created at Humans for Education reflects the belief that everyone holds the potential to create their own solutions. They believe in thinking differently about helping others by: (1) consulting and funding community-driven, culturally-sensitive small businesses with an ROI of ~20%, (2) stimulating the local economy, and (3) ensuring safe and sanitary learning conditions for all. When all is said and done, they aim to create financial independence.

    Driven by the need to shift the paradigm from poverty to independence, Humans for Education focuses on three distinct areas: small businesses; water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH); and lifetime scholarships. After receiving their 501(c)(3) in 2016 they accomplish these goals by partnering with high achieving companies, such as Rotary International, Tender Greens, Moe’s, and many more.

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    Celebrating Bakers of All Abilities at Special Touch Bakery

    Founded in 1982, Special Touch Bakery was launched by Holy Childhood as a means to train and employ people with intellectual and developmental disabilities alongside their non-disabled peers. At Special Touch, a baker is a baker-- they celebrate all abilities!

    Holy Childhood is a non-profit agency, which serves more than 200 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, in its School Program (ages 5-21) and in its Adult Program, which serves people from age 21 through retirement. Services include individualized education, vocational training, transition and skills training, supported employment and diagnostic and treatment services.

    In addition to their inspiring purpose, Holy Childhood was recognized in 2017 by the Rochester Area Business Ethics Foundation with an "ETHIE" Award for their ethical, conscious culture. It's hard to believe that it's been a year since Conscious Capitalism ROC and Rochester Rotary helped celebrate the grand opening of the newly expanded special touch bakery!

    In this episode, Andrew sits down with Holy Childhood's President & CEO Donna Dedee (whose career has spanned from television journalism to Senior Vice President at the United Way to CEO of Bishop Kearney high school) as well as Public Relations Manager Laurie Otto.

    Learn about how the growing facility has helped Special Touch to grow their mission over this past year, and don't forget to order your #BestPieEver before November 16th to get it in time for Thanksgiving!

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    Creating a "Best Place to Work" with Wayne Holly of Sage Rutty

    Rochester's oldest, locally owned financial services firm was founded in 1915. At least some of that longevity can be attributed to their community-focused, conscious culture. They have been named a "Top 10 Best Small Workplace" by Great Place To Work and Fortune magazine, including "Top Workplaces for Women."

    Joining the firm in 1980, Wayne Holly assumed the role of President after mastering many positions within the firm. His strong beliefs in traditional values and ethical standards insures he is perfectly suited to lead Sage Rutty. Wayne holds a variety of licenses with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Economics from Alfred University, as well as successful completion of the Securities Industry Association Executive Education Program at the Wharton School of Finance.

    An advocate for at-risk children, Wayne currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Bivona Child Advocacy Center. In addition, he and his wife, Judy are deeply involved in the Monroe County Foster Care Program, having helped raise nearly 50 foster children.

    Tune in to learn best practices on what makes Sage Rutty such a "Great Place to Work!"

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    How Michele Liddle is "Creating A Better World Through Food and Love" at The Perfect Granola

    Michele Liddle created The Perfect Granola on the foundation of giving back and exploded into the market in June of 2016. Gaining accounts with retailers such as Wegmans, Tops, Shop-Rite, Price Chopper, and just before we recorded her interview, Wal-Mart! In less than 2 years, The Perfect Granola has become a fast growing granola and granola bar company and prides itself on creating positive social change.

    The Perfect Granola is unique in that it shares its profits with homeless shelters, outreach centers, and Food Banks, and in 2017 alone, The Perfect Granola donated over 12,000 lbs. of granola and granola bars to support a 23-county region in Upstate New York. In addition, The Perfect Granola hires students, through a partnership with Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection, to give them real work experience before graduation so that they can break the poverty cycle that fuels our hunger issue.

    In 2018, The Perfect Granola was honored as the Women-Owned Business of the Year and the NAPPA Award Winner for Best in Family Products. Michele Liddle, makes every business decision in an effort help the community and create a better world through food and love.

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    Turning Personal Hardship Into A Purposeful Business with Dave Fuehrer, founder of GRYT Health

    Dave Fuehrer started his career as the opposite of Conscious Capitalism. After receiving college degrees and winning a New York State athletic title, Dave was convinced life was about individual achievement… But being diagnosed with cancer twice in his twenties and then losing his father to cancer, caused a profound EVOLution: now, Dave’s beliefs about business and about life are more accurately represented by the African Proverb: “if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

    Dave is now the co-founder and CEO of GRYT Health: The first healthcare company started and run by young adult cancer survivors and caregivers. GRYT’s purpose is the empowerment of individual decision-making. They are making healthcare more human by giving people information to make decisions that reflect their life, not just their disease. And through GRYT’s award-winning free app, called Stupid Cancer, they are empowering people in every state and across 80 countries with information to live on their terms.

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